Afikpo (Ebonyi) – The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has urged corps members from different tribes of the country to inter-marry as part of efforts to boost national integration.
Brig.-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, the Director-General of NYSC, made the appeal on Saturday when he visited 2016 Batch A (Stream II) corps members currently undergoing their orientation programme at its permanent site in Afikpo.
According to him, the essence of the scheme is to ensure national integration which will bring the desired unity that the country earnestly desires.
“I enjoin you to inter-marry within the orientation period to achieve this all important objective, as it would only be achieved through adequate bonding in the camp.
“The activities outlined during your orientation programme such as military drills, skills acquisition and sporting activities would help in this regard and prepare you for life within and after the service year,” he said.
The NYSC DG said that the need to sustain national integration and coexistence was what propelled the corps to organise the orientation across the country in spite of the Ramadan period.
“The Ramadan did not stop us from coming to the camp, as I received lots of text messages inquiring on the possibility of organising it with the approach of the period.
“I insisted that the orientation programme be organised and by God’s grace we are here and would soon leave the camp,” he said.
He said that corps members would not be posted to Ishiellu Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
He said this was because the LGA was the epic centre of the quelled Ezza–Ezillo communal war that claimed hundreds of lives and destroyed properties worth millions of naira.
“We cannot post corps members until the security situation in the area improves and we have to be very sure that the environment is secured for them.
“Corps members are also advised to be security conscious and ensure that they go out in the company of friends and colleagues instead of going out alone,” he said.
Kazaure also enjoined the corps members to pay special attention to skills acquisition to enable them be self reliant on the completion of their service year.
“I am happy with the condition of facilities I met on ground but the corps members should be aware that the camp is regimented and does not give them excessive freedom to operate,” he said.
Mrs Gladys Mbachi, the State Coordinator of the scheme, informed the D-G that 1, 932 corps members were undergoing the programme with 1, 346 males and 586 females.
“The corps members have been behaving well since they arrived on camp and have aligned themselves positively to the camp activities.
“We, however, have some health related issues which have been adequately handled with a corps member having mental problems while three others have asthmatic cases,” she said.
Miss Praise Semilayare, a corps member from Bayelsa, thanked the D-G for the visit, but called for an increase in the monthly allowance of N19, 500, saying that it was inadequate.